Gothic 3 Updated Impressions - Get Ready for Another Big, Open-Ended Role-Playing Experience

This upcoming role-playing game promises a rich, open-ended fantasy world for you to explore on your own.

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The single-player role-playing game for the PC was seemingly in hibernation thanks to the popularity of its online cousins, as exemplified by World of Warcraft. That changed earlier this year, when The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion shipped and became a gigantic success. With the single-player RPG genre suddenly alive and vibrant, that's good news for games such as Gothic 3. It'd be inaccurate to call Gothic 3 an Oblivion clone, though. After all, it's the next chapter in a five-year-old series. Still, it's hard to not compare the two games.

Gothic 3 continues the adventures of the unnamed hero of the Gothic series.

It's probably easier to describe how the two games differ. In Gothic 3, you won't create your own hero or avatar like you do in Oblivion. Instead, as the latest game in the Gothic series, you'll continue the story of the "unnamed hero" of the franchise. And no, you don't need to have played the previous Gothic games to understand what's going on, as Gothic 3 will ease you into its vast, open-ended world.

In Gothic 3, the human lands have been overrun and occupied by orcs, which puts your character in an interesting situation. That's because Gothic 3 won't have a linear plot, and your job won't be to liberate the human lands. That's not to say that you couldn't, but the game is going for a grittier, nonlinear experience. You'll be able to chart your own course and make friends and enemies of all the factions, so perhaps you might want to help the orcs rather than the humans. The game will have three different end paths, and how you arrive at each of the possible endings will be up to you.

Your unnamed hero will start with a blank slate, and you'll be able to customize his skills and abilities as you progress through the game. For instance, you start with no spells, so you'll be able to build your casting abilities from scratch. There are approximately 50 spells in the game, ranging from fireball spells to transformation spells to teleportation spells. You may start with basic fighting abilities, but you'll be able to train with teachers to learn new skills, such as archery and two-handed swordfighting. Or you can train to be more of a thief, able to pick locks (lock-picking is a minigame) and skulk around.

The visuals are beautiful, and the world that you can explore is huge.

This nonlinear gameplay will be aided by the fact that the world in Gothic 3 is going for the same sort of wide-open feeling of Oblivion. The game's world is split into three realms, with a total of about seven-and-a-half square miles of territory to explore. That's not quite as large as Oblivion's world, but from what we've seen, Gothic 3's world is much more alive and detailed. There seems to be a better sense of atmosphere, as well. For example, it can be kind of grim to walk into an orc-occupied human town and see the bodies of human resistors strung up on poles by the side of the road. Rest assured, there are plenty of less morbid things to gawk at, too.

The towns and villages that you come across are populated by hundreds of characters, and the reactive artificial intelligence will make them behave much more realistically than those in Oblivion, according to the developers. Characters will react to everything going on around them, and if you behave belligerently (such as running around with your sword drawn), they'll recoil from speaking with you. Each character will also have a daily schedule, but rather than the highly scripted nature of Oblivion, the characters in Gothic 3 have more general instructions. So, if they have free time, they'll look for something to do, rather than do the same thing at each time day after day.

You'll also be able to recruit traveling companions from this population. Fans of the Gothic series will know of the unnamed hero's four companions in earlier games, and they all make a return in Gothic 3, however you'll have to hunt them down in their civilian lives and get them to rejoin your cause. You'll also be able to recruit other companions, as well as mercenaries to fight alongside you.

You're going to need a bigger staff.

Whatever you do in the game will impact your overall reputation, and this is important since there are so many factions that will take that into account. If you want to help the orcs, for example, you'll have to battle in the arena, starting small and then working your way up to the big coliseum battles. Prove you're good enough to survive those, and the orcs will respect you. On the other hand, help out the humans, and you'll find yourself on the bad side of the orcs. All the choices that you make will have an impact on the ending. In fact, when you do complete the game, you'll be presented with a montage of all your decisions, which will help explain how you arrived at your particular ending.

We were told by one of the developers that "rushing" through the game would require approximately 40 hours of gameplay, and if you take into account the sides that you can take in each encounter and quest, that amounts to a hefty amount of replayability. With its open-ended gameplay and strong similarities to Oblivion, it's clear that publisher Aspyr hopes that Gothic 3 is the next big single-player RPG for the PC. The game reminds us quite a bit of Oblivion, and of last year's Fable, as well. Gothic 3 doesn't seem to be going for the epic, apocalyptic story of Oblivion, though. Instead, it seems like it's going for a more immersive and intimate experience in a fantasy world. Gothic 3 is scheduled to ship later this year.

Discussion

112 comments
gabwa007
gabwa007

I can t wait for this game :D , pity though we can t create our own char but i guess playing as an unnamed hero is pretty cool and i ll grow to like him :)

devilnevercry9
devilnevercry9

yep, the fable: the lost chapter is the best to compare with gothic 3 than the oblivion. everything included the story and characters and personality are the same with fable. Fable is the interesting story that i have ever played. this, gothic 3 is my wish game lists if it has nicer graphic at 8.5 above rate. (but a 8.0 is a welcome to my collection). Not mention about neverwinter nights the game kind of similar to gothic , oblivion and fable as i know and played so far. it is hardly to bear to have another fable serie comes out soon... i wondering they have been working on it... the rock monster's pixture above i had seen in fable is exactly the same

corinuta
corinuta

Gothic 3 is the most complex and interesting game I have ever played and i played most of them. It's the best.

errorrr
errorrr

Yeah, played them all for few times each: Arena, Daggerfall, Battlespire, Redguard, Morrowind, Oblivion - complete full set of TES. Also played all Gothics including Raven many times. These all are the best games ever - in my opinion. Can't wait for Gothic 3. Ahh ... also I love Wizardry series, in particular W8. Hope, Wizardry will be continue aswell.

warshead
warshead

I'm a big fan of both TES series and the gothic series infact i own Daggerfall,Morrowind,Oblivion, Gothic 1 &2 and when i compare Morrowind and Gothic 2, (who came out around the same time) I have to say almost everyhing about Gothic was better. The AI in Gothic 2 resembles that of Oblivion and the games came out years apart while the AI in Morrowing seem to just stand around doing F**k all. Korinis, the city in gothic 2 felt more alive than any of the cities in Morrowind, and TES series are just getting that technology into their AI now so my guess is that TES aren't going to be the only ones who improved their game, and that G3 is going to be one of the best RPG games this year. *Fable 2 looks like it going to be a good game too*

leudan1990
leudan1990

I finished Gothic 1 and 2 several times and I realy enjoied it. I think that Gothic 3 will just be the greatest RPG of the year. If anybody who played gothic liked it, he's gonna love this one

ddeurbrouck
ddeurbrouck

Haven't played any of the Gothic games. Looks like I'm gonna have to pick this one up. And to add to the Oblivion bashing, it was quite a disappointment, I played it for 2 weeks and haven't touched it since. If you're looking for a good elder scrolls game, Morrowind was far superior.

mkreku
mkreku

This is my most anticipated game of 2006. I loved Gothic and Gothic 2 (which was even better in the Gothic 2 Gold edition, with the expansion) and I loved Daggerfall and Oblivion (but hated Morrowind for some reason..) so this is bound to be a hit for me. I have already preordered the Collector's Edition of Gothic 3 a few months back. It comes with a cloth map this time! :)

barlienb
barlienb

There are tons!! of mods for Gothic!!! They are all just in german! And you cant realy call youre self a Huge TES fan if all youve played is TES 3 and 4... And as a nice closure. yes king_devils this is going to be the best year ever for RPG fans :D:D

king_devils
king_devils

TES have 1000's of user made mods around the internet as Beth - Soft Supplied Editor with TES 3 And 4 thats rocking...but Gothic developers never allowed users to made their own mods as they never supplied Game Editor. like thing.....Grrrrrrrrrr...why ..

king_devils
king_devils

Just can't miss dis game, I am huge fan of Gothic And Morrowind Series and i like both of these games. I am a real super crazy guy , i have finished G1 , G2 And TES 3 with all addons so many times...All i h8 in Gothic is Chapter Based Gameplay ....and i am expecting from developers that G3 will have no chapters....boooo i love Gothic And Elder Scroll Series..the good thing about gothic is this that it loads its Whole world once not like morrowind.........

predatorab
predatorab

Gothic 1 & 2; one of the best RPG's I've ever played. Now the will be continued! I'm waiting for that a long time! I think it will be a great game!

silvya1980
silvya1980

Plot. TEH plot is what I love in Gothic series. I'm not even starting my TES-bashing drill here, it'd just take soooo long.

JohnBo
JohnBo

"Derbedeu: I cant understand why Gamespot compares Oblivion with G3" Hahaha. I just got PCGamer (latest issue, USA edition) and saw the 1st advert for Gothic 3. It compares G3 to Oblivion and G2 to Morrowind! Oh noes (sarcasm). I can't understand why anyone can't understand that Oblivion and G3 MUST be compared by gaming websites and magazines. TES4 is a direct competitor to G3, and regardless of how dedicated a supporter of Gothic you are, this is clear. Now, as to the relative merits and drawbacks of the 2 games, opinions will differ and the dedicated fans of Gothic series will of course trumpet its virtues repeatedly and stridently (electrons are free). I myself enjoy both the Gothic and the TES styles of single-player RPG fun.

ISC13
ISC13

I guess the problem of the Gothic series was bad promotion campaign. That's why much more ppl play TES. Boo Aspyr =)

MelCalan
MelCalan

Yep. Gothic is one of the best game series that there is. I rate it no 1. And good thing is that is made for PC, and it will show up because its no translation like Oblivion where you cannot have all the effects in PC like in XBox360. And I the previev says that Gothic 3 is going for the same open-ended feeling of Oblivion is missleadig, because Gothic 2 WAS ALLREADY THAT! So I would not compare this game too much to Oblivion, I would rather play the Gothic 2. Then it easy to see that the part 3 will offer more than the part 2, and Im talking of Gothic (not Oblivion). Gothic 2 was here long before Oblivion SO I WOULD NOT SAY THAT THIS GAME COPY THE OBLIVION.

MC_DeLite
MC_DeLite

Ahem. Here's one for you - Gothic (both 1 and 2, if I recall correctly), went so far with immersion as to allow you to blacksmith your own weapons. And you weren't restricted to just bad ones, it's just that you had to spend time training. And it wasn't just a click here and here thing either. You had to manually heat up the iron, bang on it with a hammer, cool it in water and sharpen it, just as you would do in real life. I always hated that TES didn't have such small details. In any case, eagerly awaiting this. VERY eagerly.

np70604
np70604

I've played Daggerfall, Morrowind+all expansions and Gothic 1&2. I fully agree with all the posters who noted all the great things in Gothic that TES is lacking. To add, I wish TES hasn't dropped mouse-driven weapons control system of Daggerfall for empty mouse-clicking. To those who never played Gothic -- I really envy you. I believe G1 demo is available - try it. I still remember the shock when I walked into a worker's shack... and he started yelling at me to get out and draw his weapon (but gave me time to retreat without attacking!). If you love immersive world and don't fear hard-core fighting system - try out G1&2, why wait for G3?

Derbedeu
Derbedeu

I cant understand why Gamespot compares Oblivion with G3...Ive played the Gothic series and Tes3...but the Gothic series were extraordinary even if there were many bugs in the game ...the story/the npcs/interaction etc.were making it so cool...when i played Oblivion i realised after a while that is almost all the same kill kill and kill and after me it made a step down ...comparing it to Morrowind... Just cant wait until this game IS RELEASED

blackIceJoe
blackIceJoe

All I need to say is that Gothic 3 is so going to kill when it comes out. That game looks like a nice breath of fresh air.

Riddick123
Riddick123

Not to add to the Oblivion hate, I enjoyed the game. But the Gothic series was and is superior to the TeS series. Much more freedom to do everything. You can look out windows and the inside of buildings are part of the outside world. If the third one is anything like the first 2, RPG fans everywhere are in for a treat.

Hakkzpets
Hakkzpets

I like the RPG. Oblivion didn't have any real choices to it. You was put in a world and you didn't really have choice to go the evil way.

x-dANGEr
x-dANGEr

No comment is worthy of a Gothic. Gothic, for the win! (All the series is fantastic)

grim_fandango
grim_fandango

Wow sounds great! I've played a bit of Oblivion and it's excellent. If this is even better (which this article implies), I have got to get it!!

Lexandru
Lexandru

The Gothic series is the best I ever played and I hope it doesn't resemble the TES series . Piranha don't rush the game! True fans can wait ...:)

mikalh
mikalh

Will this game come with multpiplayer? - I am looking for the best RPG games which is out, or will come out.. There is so many RPG games, that it almost is too much

KingXerxes
KingXerxes

Gothic 1 and Gothic 2 were fantastic. One thing: In the Gothic world you can always look out windows and check out the weather or time of day or fire your crossbow out them or whatever. That's something you can't do in Morrowind or Oblivion - a stupid design choice that arbitrarily compartmentalises the game and reduces realism, interaction and fun!

rawpower
rawpower

Gothic 2 was a great cult-classic RPG that outdid Morrowind in lots of areas, creating a world with more personality and depth than the other game. I am hoping the same this time around, except maybe with the game getting alot more of the attention it deserves. Gothic 3 FTW.

Delkath123
Delkath123

I am a fan of TeS series and have my eye on two worlds as well. This just got added to my roster and I will be picking it up regardless of the ratings.. (unless of course it is overpopulated with bugs) I haven't played the prior in this series but I hear they were good games.

Grim113
Grim113

It will be a great game and I'll play it. I have played the first two and if they go the same way as they did they can't make anything wrong. I just hope that they don't make it as easy as Oblivion was whit that creature leveling nonsense!!!

baaser
baaser

Gothic I and II were two incredible RPG's that were unfortunately overlooked by most North American gamers (their HUGE loss). RPG fans rave about Oblivion (definitely a great game) and its openended gameplay with believable NPC's, well Gothic was the first to do this with speech recordings for all the NPC's to boot. Oblivion has recently been added to my list of all time favorite RPG games but it has nothing on the Gothic series in terms of freedom of world exploration, NPC realism, story and fun side quests and level of detail. Hope Gothic III continues the quality delivered so far in this GREAT RPG series (Way to go Piranha Bytes) !!!

barlienb
barlienb

I can only say one thing, me beeing a Gothic fanatic! Gothic 3 makes my spine shiver and hair rise up! This is love :)

vitorxa
vitorxa

i have been played gothic and gothic 2 for 2 years and there no game like this masterpiece . thxs piranha bites

keinezung
keinezung

Gothic 3 continues a great saga ...and is the best RPG saga that was ever made....i like the Elder Scrolls universe ..but it lacks attention to details ...something that Gothic world has... It will be better than Oblivion ...

Jir11
Jir11

Looks artistically pleasing to the eye. :) Very detailed.

lavalleema
lavalleema

I'm not sure it's fair to say this will "replace" Oblivion because if you liked Oblivion than that will still be a great game after this comes out. I think that Gothic 3 is looking a *ton* more interesting than Gothic 2. I played Gothic 2 for a while when I was looking for something after finishing Morrowind, but wasn't very impressed... mainly because of the control... it just felt "clunky" to me and not on as high of a production level as some other games... however, maybe that was just my old PC :) But this looks like it will be a GREAT addition to anyone who likes RPGs collection. I am hoping very much that it's right up there with Oblivion, and if you didn't like Oblivion, that it's the what you would call a great game. Here's hoping.

tehbighead
tehbighead

looks quite promising. and, seriously, enough with the oblivion hate.

moocow21
moocow21

I hope it's a lot better than Oblivion, as that was a rather big disappointment to me. I might have to try picking iup Gothic 2 to learn a little about this interesting series.

O_Lineman17
O_Lineman17

This game looks fairly interesting, altho I am a huge fan of the Elder Scrolls Series, and its gonna be hard to take Oblivions place. Many people I know have said that Oblivion is like any other RPG just with some upped visuals, that was until after they played it and wouldn't get out of my house for 5 hrs. Oblivion looks like an ordinary RPG but it isnt, its constantly expanding with fans of the game all over the internet and the creators making mods, but the game alone is enough for me. There is something about the game that is addicting, i think im only gonna be on for 30 minutes and im on for 3 hrs. I love that game, and it will be veryvery difficult to take its place, but I'll give the gothic series a shot, seems like it could be a great game

HyperMetaDragon
HyperMetaDragon

Looks like a great game. Looks similiar to Oblivion.

Ruin7
Ruin7

is it great? i never play it before.

Pyrox7
Pyrox7

now come one.. oblivion is probably the best RPG ever realeased. im sure you'll find more people saying that than not. Gothic 3 looks awesome too. will be hard to beat oblivion, but if any game can do it, its this one. Cant wait...

Humorguy_basic
Humorguy_basic

If, like Oblivion, Gothic III requires me to have to buy a new PC because I will need a $400 PCI-Express card to be able to play it decently, it will be another game (like Oblivion) that I will buy when I have the PC to play it. If I can play Half Life 2 and Episode One and Doom 3 and Far Cry, etc. I do not consider my PC to be 'weak'. I don't see why I should have to spend $100's just to cover the fact (in the Oblivion case) that the game engine was poorly written and optimized. It is these poorly written (or converted from console) games that are pushing the hardware demands not the graphics, etc. Are you telling me Half Life 2 and Far Cry graphics are 'not good enough'? I think most gamers would think they are and are therefore wondering why we need games that demand ever more power. No wonder game sales are way down. Even home PC sales are way down as more and more people give up on playing PC games, (maybe buy a console; but even console games sales are down) and just keep their PC for internet and word processing, etc.

zoloboy
zoloboy

for me gothic is the best i fall in love with gothic 1 and after that came gothic2 wich i enjoyed very much i enjoyed oblivion but for me gothic is simply the best